Guest Blog by
Recreation & Events Coordinator, Town of Three Rivers
In June 2021, ParticipACTION hosted its annual Community Better Challenge. New this year, was a cash prize of $15,000 for the communities with the most amount of logged ‘move minutes’ for each province. Three Rivers is a new community that at the time was just under 3 years old, and as the Recreation and Events Coordinator for the Town, I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring this new community together.
Based on the success of the challenge, I compiled a list of notions that helped Three Rivers win the title of PEI’s Most Active Community.
Invited community groups, organizations, and schools to take part
Any ‘move minutes’ that are logged within Three Rivers boundaries, accounted for the Towns overall minutes. When the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge was initially announced, I reached out to community groups, sport organizations, schools, and libraries to make them aware of the ParticipACTION Micro Grants that were available. These organizations stepped up, applied for grants and hosted various activities throughout the month of June that encouraged physical activity. Some of these organizations included Georgetown Elementary School, the Montague Rotary Library, the Cardigan Minor Ball Association and the Southeast Environmental Association.
Encouraged community involvement
I promoted the Community Better Challenge using our social media outlets and encouraged members of the community to be active, download the ParticipACTION app and log their ‘move minutes’. I kept track of how we were doing throughout the course of the challenge and gave updates to the community. When people became more and more aware of how well we were doing, the were more motivated to be a part of the challenge.
I accessed the ParticipACTION Community Better Micro Grants and partnered with community groups to host a variety of activities including; free yoga classes in the park, a physical literacy pre-school program, walking groups and community hikes. With the help of partnerships through go!East PEI, PEI Public Libraries, TCAP and the Southeast Environmental Association, we were able to engage a larger audience to these activities.
Promoted a variety of physical activities happening throughout Three Rivers
I promoted different activities that were happening during the month of June through weekly schedules and shared events on our social media. Groups like Recreation PEI, go!East PEI, TCAP and other organizations held activities throughout June.
Submitted a report
After the challenge was completed, there was a reporting process through ParticipACTION. This process was very simple and straight forward. I shared what activities we did throughout the challenge, pictures and media content. I also outlined what we were going to do with the funding if our community were to win.
Overall, we are thrilled with the outcome of the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge, not only because of the funding, but because it gave our community a sense of pride. We also managed to reach Canada’s Top 50 Most Active Communities along with other island communities such as Miltonvale Park and Charlottetown. The Town of Three Rivers plans to use the funding to go towards enhancing green spaces as well as supporting physical activity initiatives hosted by groups that took part in the challenge.
I would like to thank Recreation PEI and the Government of Prince Edward Island for their support with this initiative. I am looking forward to taking part in the challenge again in 2022 and encourage other island municipalities to also take part.